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Not suffering wrath to discompose his mind,
A POEM ON THE PRINCE, BORN ON THE TENTH OF JUNE, Then, all maturely weighd, pronounc'd a dooin
1688. Of sacred strength for every age to come. By this the Doves their wealth and state possess, Our vows are heard betimes, and Heaven takes care No rights infring'd, but licence to oppress: To grant, before we can conclude the prayer: Such power have they as factious lawyers long Preventing angels met it half the way, To crowns ascrib'd, that kings can do no wrong. And sent us back to praise, who came to pray. But since his own domestic birds have try'd
Just on the day, when the high-mounted Sun The dire effects of their destructive pride,
Did furthest in its northern progress run, He deems that proof a measure to the rest,
He bended forward, and ev'n stretch'd the sphere Concluding well within his kingly breast,
Beyond the limits of the lengthen'd year, His fowls of nature too unjustly were opprest. To view a brighter sun in Britain born; He therefore makes all birds of every sect
That was the business of his longest morn;
The glorious object seen, 'twas time to turn.
And to fulfil the promise of the year.
This age to blossom, and the next to bear. Each has his district, and his bounds decreed : Last solemn sabbath saw the church attend, Combin'd in common interest with his own, The Paraclete in fiery pomp descend; But not to pass the Pigeon's Rubicon.
But when his wondrous octave rollid again, “ Here ends the reign of his pretended Dove; He brought a royal infant in his train. All prophecy's accomplish'd from above,
So great a blessing to so good a king, For Shiloh comes the sceptre to remove.
None but th’ Eternal Comforter could bring. Reduc'd from her imperial high abode,
Or did the mighty Trinity conspire,
As once in council to create our fire ?
To wait on the procession of their feast;
And on their sacred anniverse decreed “ What after happen'd is not hard to guess : To stamp their image on the promis'd seed. The small beginnings had a large increase, Three realms united, and on one bestow'd, And arts and wealth succeed, the secret spoils of An emblem of their mystic union show'd : peace.
The mighty trine the triple empire shar'd: 'Tis said, the Doves repented, though too late, As every person would have one to guard. Become the smiths of their own foolish fate:
Hail, son of prayers! by holy violence Nor did their owner hasten their ill hour;
Drawn down from Heaven; but long be banish'd But, sunk in credit, they decreas'd in power :
thence, Like snows in warmth that mildly pass away, And late to thy paternal skies retire: Dissolving in the silence of decay.
To mend our crimes, whole ages would require; “ The Buzzard, not content with equal place, To change th' inveterate habit of our sins, Invites the feather'd Nimrods of his race;
And finish what thy godlike sire begins. To hide the thinness of their flock from sight, Kind Heaven, to make us Englishmen again, And all together make a seeming goodly flight: No less can give us than a patriarch's reign. But each have separate interests of their own; The sacred cradle to your charge receive, Two czars are one too many for a throne.
Ye seraphs, and by turns the guard relieve; Nor can th' usurper long abstain from food ; Thy father's angel, and thy father join, Already he has tasted Pigeon's blood :
To keep possession, and secure the line ;
But long defer the honours of thy fate:
Our wants exact at least that moderate stay: Like the tumultuous college of the bees,
For see the dragon winged on his way,
Thus, when Alcides rais'd his infant cry,
But vainly with their forked tongues they threat; Seem'd to require her natural repose;
For opposition makes a hero great. For now the streaky light began to peep;
To needful succour all the good will run, And setting stars admonish'd both to sleep.
And Jove assert the godhead of his son. The dame withdrew, and, wishing to her guest O still repining at your present state, The peace of Heaven, betook herself to rest. Grudging yourselves the benefits of fate, Ten thousand angels on her slumbers wait, Look up, and read in characters of light With glorious visions of her future state.
A blessing sent you in your own despite.
The manna falls, yet that celestial bread
If our victorious Fdward, as they say, Like Jews you munch, and murmur while you feed. Gave Wales a prince on that propitious day, May not your fortune be like theirs, exil'd, Why may not years, revolving with his fate, Yet forty years to wander in the wild !
Produce his like, but with a longer date?
One, who may carry to a distant shore
Though poets are not prophets, to foreknow But why should James or his young hero stay
That happy moment when our prince was bom:
Great Michael, prince of all th’ ethereal hosts, He sees bis bleeding church in ruin lie,
And whate'er inbora saints our Britain boasts; And hears the souls of saints beneath his altar cry. And thou, th' adopted patron of our isle, Already has he lifted high the sign,
With cheerful aspects on this infant smile: Which crown'd the conquering arms of Constantine: The pledge of Heaven, which, dropping from above, The Moon grows pale at that presaging sight, Secures our bliss, and reconciles his love. And half her train of stars have lost their light. Enough of ills our dire rebellion wrought, Behold another Sylvester, to bless
When to the dregs we drank the bitter draught: The sacred standard, and secure success;
Then airy atoms did in plagues conspire, Large of his treasures, of a soul so great,
Nor did th' avenging angel yet retire, As fills and crowds his universal seat.
But purg'd our still-increasing crimes with fire. Now view at home a second Constantine;
Then perjur'd plots, the still impending test, (The former too was of the British line)
And worse-but charity conceals the rest: Has not his healing balm your breaches clos'd, Here stop the current of the sanguine flood; Whose exile many sought, and few oppos'd ? Require not, gracious God, thy martyrs' blood; 0, did not Heaven by its eternal doom
But let their dying pangs, their living toil, Permit those evils, that this good might come? Spread a rich harvest through their native soil; So manifest, that ev'n the moon-ey'd sects A harvest ripening for another reign, See whom and what this Providence protects. Of which this royal babe may reap the grain. Methinks, had we within our minds no more
Enough of early saints one womb has given; Than that one shipwreck on the fatal ore,
Enongh increas'd the family of Heaven : That only thought may make us think again, Let them for his, and our atonement go; What wonders God reserves for such a reign. And, reigning blest above, leave him to rule below. To dream that Chance his preservation wronght, Enough already has the year foreshow'd Were to think Noah was preserv'd for nought; His wonted course, the sea has overflow'd, Or the surviving eight were not design'd
The meads were floated with a weeping spring, To people Earth, and to restore their kind. And frighten'd birds in woods forgot to sing:
When bumbly on the royal babe we gaze, The strong-limb'd steed beneath his harness faints, The manly lines of a majestic face
And the same shivering sweat his lord attaints. Give awful joy : 'tis paradise to look
When will the minister of wrath give o'er? On the fair frontispiece of Nature's book :
Behold bim at Araunah's threshing-floor: If the first opening page so charms the sight, He stops, and seems to sheath his flaming brand, Think how th' unfolded volume will delight! Pleas'd with burnt incense from our David's band. See how the venerable infant lies
David has bought the Jebusite's abode, In early pomp; how through the mother's eyes And rais'd an altar to the living God. The father's soul, with an undaunted view,
Heaven, to reward him, makes his joys sincere: Looks out, and takes our homage as his due. No future ills nor accidents appear See on his future subjects how he smiles,
To snlly and pollute the sacred infant's year. Nor meanly flatters, nor with craft beguiles ; Five months to discord and debate were given : But with an open face, as on his throne,
He sanctifies the yet remaining seven. Assures our birthrights, and assumes his own: Sabbath of months! henceforth in him be blest, Born in broad daylight, that th' ungrateful rout And prelude to the realm's perpetual rest! May find no room for a remaining doubt;
Let his baptismal drops for us atone; Truth, which itself is light, does darkness shun, Lustrations for offences not his own. And the true eaglet safely dares the Sun.
Let Conscience, which is Interest ill disguis'd, Fain would the fiends have made a dubious birth, In the same font be cleans'd, and all the land baptiz'd. Loth to confess the Godhead cloth'd in earth: Unnam'd as yet; at least unknown to fame: But sicken'd after all their baffled lies,
Is there a strise in Heaven about his name; To find an heir apparent in the skies :
Where every famous predecessor vies, Abandon'd to despair, still may they grudge, And makes a faction for it in the skies? And, owning not the Saviour, prove the judge. Or must it be reserv'd to thought alone? Not great Æneas stood in plainer day,
Such was the sacred Tetragrammaton. When, the dark mantling mist dissolv'd away, Things worthy silence must not be reveald: He to the Tyrians show'd his sudden face,
Thus the true name of Rome was kept conceald, Shining with all his goddess mother's grace: TO shun the spells and sorceries of those, For she herself had made his countenance bright, Who durst her infant majesty oppose. Breath'd honour on his eyes, and her own purple But when his tender strength in time shall rise light.
To dare ill tongues, and fascinating eyes ;
This isle, which hides the little thunderer's fame, With sparing hands will diet us to good:
Preventing surfeits of vur pamper'd blood.
As Jove's increase, who from his brain was born, True, this last blessing was a royal feast; Whom arms and arts did equally adorn,
But where's the wedding-garment on the guest? Free of the breast was bred, whose milky taste Our manners, as religion were a dream, Minerva's name to Venus had debas'd;
Are such as teach the nations to blaspheme.
In lusts we wallow, and with pride we swell,
Our lives unteach the doctrine we believe.
Thus Israel sinn'd, impenitently hard, Might reproduce some second Richard's reign. And vainly thought the present ark their guard; Mildness he shares from both his parents' blood: But when the haughty Philistines appear, But kings too tame are despicably good:
They fled, abandon'd to their foes and fear; Be this the mixture of this regal child,
Their God was absent, though his ark was there. By nature manly, but by virtue mild.
Ah ! lest our crimes should snatch this pledge away, Thus far the furious transport of the news And make our joys the blessings of a day! Had to prophetic madness fir'd the Muse;
For we have sinn'd him hence; and that he lives, Madness ungovernable, uninspir'd,
God to his promise, not our practice gives. Swift to foretel whatever she desir'd.
Our crimes would soon weigh down the guilty scale, Was it for me the dark abyss to tread,
But James and Mary, and the church, prevail.
Of all the virtues, and the vices left;
As, when pent vapours run their hollow round, Though beautiful is well in pious lost;
Let the great gift the beauteous giver pay.
That, though the longest day, would soon, too soon The prophet promis'd, and the wife believ'd. Let angels' voices with their harps conspire, A son was sent, the son so much desir'd;
But keep th' auspicious infant from the choir; But soon upon the mother's knees expird.
Late let him sing above, and let us know The troubled seer approach'd the mournful door, No sweeter music than his cries below. Ran, pray'd, and sent his pastoral staff before, Nor can I wish to you, great monarch, more Then stretch'd his limbs upon the child, and mournd, Than such an annual income to your store; Till warmth, and breath, and a new soul, return'd. The day which gave this unit, did not shine
Thus Mercy stretches out her hand, and saves For a less omen, than to fill the trine. Desponding Peter sinking in the waves.
After a prince, an admiral beget; As when a sudden storm of hail and rain The Royal Sovereign wants an anchor yet. Beats to the ground the yet unbearded grain, Our isle has younger titles still in store, Think not the hopes of harvest are destroy'd And when th’ exhausted land can yield no more, On the flat field, and on the naked void ;
Your line can force them from a foreign sbore. The light, unloaded stem, from tempest freed, The name of great your martial mind will suit ; Will raise the youthful honours of his head; But justice is your darling attribute: And soon, restor'd by native vigour, bear
Of all the Greeks, 'twas but one hero's due, The timely product of the bounteous year. And, in him, Plutarch prophesy'd of you. Nor yet conclude all fiery trials past:
A prince's favours but on few can fall, For Heaven will exercise us to the last;
But justice is a virtue shar'd by all. Sometimes will check us in our full career,
Some kings the name of conquerors bave assum'd, With doubtful blessings, and with mingled fear; Some to be great, some to be gods presum'd; That, still depending on his daily grace,
But boundless power, and arbitrary lust, His every mercy for an alms may pass,
Made tyrants still abhor the name of just;
They shunn'd the praise this godlike virtue gires, Echoes from Pissing-Alley Shadwell call,
The power, from which all kings derive their state, About thy boat the little fishes throng,
As at the morning toast that floats along. Is equal both to punish and reward;
Sometimes, as prince of thy harmonious band, But few would love their God, unless they fear'd. Thou wield'st thy papers in thy threshing hand. Resistless force and immortality
St. Andre's feet ne'er kept more equal time, Make but a lame, imperfect, deity:
Not ev'n the feet of thy own Psyche's rhyme : Tempests have force unbounded to destroy, Though they in number as in sense excel; And deathless being ev'n the damn'd enjoy; So just, so like tautology, they fell, And yet Heaven's attributes, both last and first, That, pale with envy, Singleton forswore One without life, and one with life accurst: The lute and sword, which he in triumph bore, But justice is Heaven's self, so strictly he,
And vow'd he ne'er would act Villerius more." That coald it fail, the Godhead could not be.
Here stopt the good old sire, and wept for joy, This virtue is your own; but life and state In silent raptures of the hopeful boy. Are one to Fortune subject, one to Fate:
All arguments, but most his plays, persuade, Equal to all, you justly frown or smile;
That for anointed dulness he was made.
An ancient fabric rais'd t’inform the sight,
A watch-tower once; but now, so Fate ordains,
Of all the pile an empty name remains :
From its old ruins brothel-houses rise, All human things are subject to decay,
Scenes of lewd loves, and of polluted joys, And when Fate summons, monarchs must obey. Where their vast courts the mother-strumpets This Flecknoe found, who, like Augustus, young
Where infant punks their tender voices try,
Great Fletcher never treads in buskins here,
Pure clinches the suburbian Muse affords,
And Panton waging harmless war with words. Mature in dulness from his tender years:
Here Flecknoe, as a place to Fame well known, Shadwell alone, of ail my sons, is he,
Ambitiously design d his Shadwell's throne, Who stands confirin'd in full stupidity.
For ancient Decker prophesy'd long since, The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, That in this pile should reign a mighty prince, But Shadwell never deviates into sense.
Born for a scourge of wit, and flail of sense. Some beams of wit on other souls may fall, To whom true dulness should some Psyches owc, Strike through, and make a lucid interval :
But worlds of unisers from his pen should flow: But Shadwell's genuine night admits no ray, Humorists and hypocrites it should produce, His rising fogs prevail upon the day.
Whole Raymond families, and tribes of Bruce. Besides, his goodly fabric fills the eye,
Now empress Fame had publish'd the renown And seems design'd for thoughtless majesty : Of Shadwell's coronation through the town. 'Thoughtless as monarch oaks, that shade the plain, Rous'd by report of Fame, the nations meet, And, spread in solemn state, supinely reign. From near Bunhill, and distant Watling-street. Heywood and Shirley were but types of thee, No Persian carpets spread th' imperial way, Thou last great prophet of tautology!
But scatter'd limbs of mangled poets lay:
Martyrs of pies, and relics of the bum.
Lut loads of Shadwell almost chok'd the way. My warbling lute, the lute I whilom strung, Bilk'd stationers for yeomen stood prepar'd, When to king John of Portugal I sung,
And Herringman was captain of the guard. Was but the prelude to that glorious day,
The hoary prince in majesty appear'd, When thou on silver Thames didst cut thy way, High on a throne of his own labours rear'd. With well-tim'd oars before the royal barge, At his right hand our young Ascanius sate, Swell’d with the pride of thy celestial charge; Rome's other hope, and pillar of the state. And, big with hymn, commander of an host,
His brows thick fogs, instead of glories, grace, The like was ne'er in Epsom blankets tost.
And lambent dulness play'd around his face. Methinks I see the new Arion sail,
As Hannibal did to the altars come, The lute still trembling underneath thy nail. Swore by his sire, a mortal foe to Rome; At thy well-sharpen'd thumb from shore to shore So Shadwell swore, nor should bis vow be vain, The trebles squeak for fear, the bases rpar: That he till death true dulness would maintain;
And, in his father's right, and realm's defence, But so transfus'd, as oil and waters flow, Ne'er to have peace with wit, nor truce with sense. His always floats above, thine sinks below, The king himself the sacred unction made, This is thy province, this thy wondrous way, As king by office, and as priest by trade.
New humours to invent for each new play: In his sinister hand, instead of ball,
This is that boasted bias of thy mind, He plac'd a mighty mug of potent ale;
By which, one way, to dulness 'tis inclind: Love's kingdom to his right he did convey, Which makes thy writings lean on one side still, At once his sceptre, and his rule of sway; And, in all changes, that way bends thy will. Whose righteous lore the prince had practis'd young, Nor let thy mountain-belly make pretence And from whose loins recorded Psyche sprung. Of likeness; thine's a tympany of sense. His temples, last; with poppies were o'erspread, A tun of man in thy large bulk is writ, That nodding seem'd to consecrate his head. But sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit. Just at the point of time, if Fame not lie,
Like mine, thy gentle numbers feebly creep; On his left hand twelve reverend owls did fly. Thy tragic Muse gives smiles, thy comic sleep. So Romulus, 'tis sung, by Tyber's brook,
With whate'er gall thou sett'st thyself to write,
It does but touch thy Irish pen, and dies.
Leave writing plays, and choose for thy command, Repelling from his breast the raging god;
Some peaceful province in Acrostic land. At length burst out in this prophetic mood. There thou mayst wings display and altars raise, “ Heavens bless my son! from Ireland let him And torture one poor word ten thousand ways. reign
Or if thou wouldst thy different talents suit, Tò far Barbadoes on the western main;
Set thy own songs, and sing them to thy late." Of his dominion may no end be known,
He said; but his last words were scarcely beard: And greater than his father's be his throne; For Bruce and Longvil had a trap prepar'd, Beyond Love's kingdom let him stretch his pen!" And down they sent the yet declaiming bard. He paus'd, and all the people cry'd " Amen." Sinking he left his drugøt robe behind, Then thus continued he: “my son, advance Borne upwards by a subterranean wind. Still in new impudence, new ignorance.
The mantle fell to the young prophet's part,
MY HONOURED FRIEND SIR ROBERT HOWARD,
As there is music uninform'd by art All full of thee, and differing but in name.
In those wild notes, which with a merry heart But let no alien Sedley interpose,
The birds in unfrequented shades express, To lard with wit thy hungry Epsom prose.
Who, better taught at home, yet please us less : And when false flow'rs of rhetoric thou wouldst cull, So in your verse a native sweetness dwells, Trust Nature, do not labour to be dull;
Which shames composure, and its art excels. But write thy best, and top; and, in each line, Singing no more can your soft numbers grace, Sir Formal's oratory will be thine:
Than paint adds charms unto a beauteous face. Sir Formal, though unsought, attends thy quill, Yet as, when mighty rivers gently creep, And does thy northern dedications fill.
Their even calmness does suppose them deep; Nor let false friends seduce thy mind to fame, Such is your Muse: no metaphor swell's high By arrogating Jonson's hostile name.
With dangerous boldness lifts her to the sky: Let father Flecknoe fire thy mind with praise, Those mounting fancies, when they fall again, And uncle Ogleby thy envy raise.
Show sand and dirt at bottom do remain. Thou art my blood, where Jonson has no part: So firm a strength, and yet withal so sweet, What share have we in Nature or in Art
Did never but in Samson's riddle meet. Where did his wit on learning fix a brand,
'Tis strange each line so great a weight should bear, And rail at arts he did not understand ?
And yet no sign of toil, no sweat appear. Where made he love in prince Nicander's vein, Either your art hides art, as stoics feign Or swept the dust in Psyche's humble strain? Then least to feel, when most they suffer pain; Where sold he bargains, whip-stitch, kiss my arse, And we, dull souls, admire, Lut cannot see Promis'd a play, and dwindled to a farce? What hidden springs within the engine be. When did his Muse from Fletcher scenes purloin, Or 'tis some happiness that still pursues As thon whole Etherege dost transfuse to thine ? Each act and motion of your graceful Muse,
ON HIS EXCELLENT POEMS.